UPDATED 3/23: The deceased has been identified as Jonathan Blake, 55, of Mount Vernon, NY. Derek Whitaker, 54, of 494 Jefferson Ave in Brooklyn has been arrested and charged on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, with tampering with a witness, arson, concealing a human corpse, and hindering prosecution, according to NYPD. The investigation remains ongoing.
BEDFORD STUYVESANT – Firefighters responded to a 911 call about a fire in the basement of the apartment building at 494 Jefferson Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant around 2 pm on Monday, March 16. Twelve units responded, and 60 firefighters were on the scene.
Once the fire was extinguished, a dead man was found in the basement. Police are investigating the death as a homicide, and a 54-year-old man is in custody for questioning.
FDNY is still investigating the cause of the fire. Police have not yet released the identity of the deceased.
Neighbors took a video of the aftermath on the Citizen App:
Man Found Dead in Basement Fire, 54-Year-Old Questioned @CitizenApp
494 Jefferson Ave Yesterday 2:13:17 PM EDT